“It’s too expensive,” or “It’s takes too much time!” These are the reasons I usually get from people as to why they haven’t made a video about their business. And I agree—producing a video never goes as quickly as writing a blog post or a tweet. For some, just uploading a video will require a whole new set of skills.

But with high investment comes great reward. A video will set you apart from your competitors not just because you are better but because the audience will feel they know you. And when they know you, they’ll like you, right? As long as you take the following steps:

1. Use a good microphone. Even more important than good quality video is good quality audio. If the viewer can’t understand what you are saying ,they certainly aren’t going to stick around to watch. Amateur video can be forgiven, amateur sound can’t.

2. Explain something. Give the viewer a reason to watch your video, whether it’s instructive, gives an “insider look”, or is just funny. Don’t just make video so you can say you make video.

3. Go for quality. One well-written and produced video will go much farther than 10 lame ones. Some people disagree with my quality over quantity stance but with the masses of content out there, I think quality is the only way to cut through and catch a potential client’s eye.

So here are some ideas for small business videos…

• The Wedding Florist: hire a small production crew for a half-day to come to your workspace. With some pre-production planning, 5 simple videos could be filmed to demonstrate how you create 5 different kinds of bouquets. Don’t worry about people stealing your techniques…by establishing yourself as an expert AND accessible, your brand will grow.

• The Local Restaurant: show how kid-friendly you are by interviewing a cross-section of young patrons about their favorite meal on the menu. Just be sure to ask them, “What do you like to eat here and why is it so yummy?” not, “Do you like the food here?” so you don’t get “yes” or “no” (God forbid) for an answer. Edit them together and you’ve got adorable video gold.

• The Web Designer: get a friend to interview you about your influences and the aesthetics you feel set your website designs apart from other designers. Over the edited interview, lay in screen-shots of the sites you’ve designed to show potential clients just what you mean and are capable of.

Every video is about telling your story with pictures. So remember to let the visuals do the talking when you can.


Manoush Zomorodi’s on-camera expertise comes from years of reporting and producing for BBC News and Reuters Television. For more tips and techniques, check out Manoush’s ebook Camera Ready: How to Prepare Your Best Self & Ideas On Air and Online and follow her on Twitter @manoushz.